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Video Edited by: 21B9001 Nurfarah Waheedah Binti Omar Danny (Videography department, Executive of Media and Public Relation Officer)

Interviewer: 21B9017 Nur Rahmah Haziqah binti Mohammad Nazif
(Public Relations Officer, Executive of Media and Public Relation Officer)

Written by: 21B0088, Nur Ajlaa Fahima binti Abdullah Mohamad Asmayuddin (Public Relations Officer, Executive of Media and Public Relation Officer)


It is with our greatest pleasure to introduce to you this September’s Inspirasee for Leadership, Muhammad Alaf bin Haji Redawan, from UBD School of Business and Economics, majoring in Economics. 

His journey started as early as in primary school where he became the prefect for his class. Taking on leadership roles has then become a constant to him as he went on to be the Head of Prefect in his secondary school, and was elected as the president during his sixth form, as well as in university, where he served as Yang Di-Pertua of PMUBD for two terms. Outside of the academia world, he is also active in volunteerism as he was appointed as the Head of Welfare in the Community Department under the Ministry of Youth, Culture, and Sports and became the focal person for one of the youth centres in Brunei-Muara.

Initially, his goals in pursuing leadership roles were to improve himself and learn basic yet essential skills such as communication and leadership skills before he understood that leaders have a bigger position to contribute to their colleagues and members within the organisation. This realisation, along with his growing experiences in taking various leadership roles, have helped expand his goals to serve more for his community. One of his goals during his terms as Yang Di-Pertua of PMUBD was to provide a platform for UBD students to nurture and develop their own ambitions through any roles in clubs, student bodies, and even executives as he observed that many of them have untapped potential. Joining the Students’ Representative Council was a chance for him to improve the association as a whole as he believed that he could change the policy and improve the governance of PMUBD, so that the MPP could also extend their focus on student welfare.

However, he realised that there is an outstanding contrast between his previous experiences throughout his school years to leading an association that is responsible for almost thousands of students, especially in trying to propose ideas and implementing them. He also notes that he may have been too optimistic in his beliefs as he felt that one term may not be enough to make an impact, especially in a large organisation such as PMUBD. 


Alaf stresses having the ability to listen to others’ perspectives and opinions as he acknowledges that a leader may have limited knowledge and experience to make informed decisions, which is why he would usually let others speak before his turn. He admits it can be a difficult thing to do, as these decisions, he emphasises, carry heavy weights and responsibilities that affect every stakeholder of a community or an association. 


All leaders should also trust their team members and Alaf does so by delegating tasks and giving them the opportunity to learn as he recognises that his strength is as good as his members’ and that they complement one another where his member excels in an area that he is lacking in. Delegating also helps him juggle various commitments, whether it is concentrating on his studies or helping out his family as a son, aside from having time management and setting his priorities straight.

Sometimes, certain tasks or events can drain members of their energy and so he states that bringing everyone to focus on a common goal and guiding them can motivate them. When it comes to making mistakes as a leader, he accepts that he has done so by apologising and acknowledging his mistakes by taking actions on them, such as holding meetings to suggest solutions to mitigate these occurrences. Alaf hopes to also create an environment where it is safe to make mistakes and learn from them as he views mistakes as opportunities to gain more knowledge. 


Despite the challenges that leadership roles may impose, he reminisced on a few memorable moments where he felt a sense of pride and accomplishment in seeing UBD students participating in the events that he had helped with, due to the sacrifices that were made by the committees as well as volunteers. He also feels as though he is fulfilling his duty to contribute to the country through volunteering, especially in his involvement during COVID-19. 

Aside from being a leader, he also dedicates himself to hobbies such as sports and gaming. Of course, he also expresses his gratitude to those who have inspired him to do better, such as his mentors and his members, and his family and close friends who have supported him in his endeavours. 


Lastly, he advises viewers and listeners to “open yourself to listening and learning” in any roles that they undertake, whether it be becoming a leader or not, as there are many new things to grasp in the world.

If you want to know more about Alaf and his experiences, you can reach out to him through his Instagram @alafredawan!

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